A trial run of a self-guided walking tour of Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby’s downtown Phillips drew a small group of history buffs and Crosby fans during this year’s Old Home Days.
Honoring Maine’s first registered guide (1854-1946), the walking tour not only highlighted the industries and businesses that flourished in Phillips during the lifetime (1854-1946) of Maine’s first Registered Guide, it included a portion the 45-mile Fly Rod Crosby Trail, which passes through downtown Phillips on its way to Madrid, Rangeley and Oquossoc.
While there have been walking tours of downtown Phillips in recent years, this was the first time, thanks to a grant from the Maine Community Foundation, those on the tour were given maps prepared by the Center for Community GIS. And it was the first time the tour was led by two student summer interns from Mt Abram High School: Logan and Nathan Boyce.
While research at the Phillips Historical Society provided the students with basic information about the ten sites, those on the tour, added anecdotes, amusing recollections and additional facts to the historic record as they walked along Depot, Pleasant, Main, Bridge and Amble Streets “It’s just what we were looking and hoping for,” said Betsy Squibb of the High Peaks Alliance, which along with the Phillips Area Cultural Center(PACC) sponsored the walk.
Included in the tour were stops at the former maintenance shop of the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes Railroad (now the home of PACC) , Fly Rod’s home, the former home of the Phillips Phonograph, the newspaper Fly Rod contributed a column to and the Paul G. Whittemore building. A highlight of the hour-long tour included a stop at the Stove Top Country Store to peer into the three vaults that were housed in the former home of the Phillips National Bank.
Copies of the self-guided tour containing text will be available at the kiosk in front of the Phillips Area Community Center on Depot Street and other locations later this summer.